‘The Voice’ Top 8: Sundance Head, Billy Gilman lead our latest power rankings

Two more artists were sent packing on Tuesday’s live elimination episode of the hit NBC series “The Voice.” Coaches Blake Shelton and Miley Cyrus each had artists facing off for the instant save, but it was Team Blake that took a huge blow after two of his artists, Austin Allsup and Courtney Harrell, were eliminated. But rest assured his chances at a record fifth win are in good hands with his only remaining artist, Sundance Head, who has peaked highest on the iTunes charts for two weeks in a row. Sundance and the teams of Alicia Keys (two artists), Cyrus (two artists) and Adam Levine (three artists) have their work cut out for them heading into next week’s semifinals where four artists will be eliminated.

To help you make your predictions in next week’s Top 8 contest for Season 11, I have compiled my current power ranking. I’ve got Head leading in the top spot, but Billy Gilman is just behind. Taking into consideration the season as a whole, I examined how the artists have performed both on stage and on iTunes to determine their standing in the competition.

Related: Brendan Fletcher, Christian Cuevas are best for Monday’s Top 10

1. Sundance Head (Team Blake)
Even this week when I thought his performance was good, but not great and fun, but not necessarily exciting, Sundance managed to once again best everyone else on the iTunes chart and peak at #1. That and the fact that he was the only artist to crack the Top 10 in the previous week is proof that he’s the voting audience’s favorite to win. He’s safely headed for the finale even if he has an off week in the semis (he won’t). As long as he continues to do what he’s doing and smile like he smiles, I think Sundance is going to be hard for any of the other artists to beat. He even has the added benefit of being Blake’s only artist left which means he’ll have all his attention this week and next to make sure that his performances are exactly what it’ll take to win.

2. Billy Gilman (Team Adam)
Regardless of my own opinion about Billy’s performances, it takes one glance at our comments sections, the forums or the iTunes chart to see plainly that Billy has one of the most passionate and vocal fan bases this season. In our predictions center he’s been a frontrunner to win almost all season, but for two weeks now he’s been bested by Sundance on the iTunes charts and that should be a cause for concern for those still predicting him to win. Given his experience in the industry, Billy has an innate confidence and ease on stage that translates into safe performances which don’t inspire the same kind of excitement that someone like Sundance does. Billy will surely make the finale, but to win I think he’ll need to blow our minds with a huge, huge, huge performance this week or next.

Related: Billy Gilman remains Season 11 frontrunner

3. Brendan Fletcher (Team Adam)
I’m still ashamed to say that Brendan is the guy I thought would be eliminated first in the live shows, but I’ll happily admit to being wrong about that because he has evolved into one of the most surprising, interesting and engaging performers of the season. It seems like his fan base grows at the same rate that his confidence does so each week we’re getting to see a new and better version of what he was the week before. It’s translating into a swell of support that makes him a legitimate contender for the win.

4. We` McDonald (Team Alicia)
We` has been one of our favorites to win the season since her blind audition so it’s hard to imagine a scenario where she doesn’t make the finale. Also, it’d be deeply unfortunate for the show’s first season with two female judges to culminate in a championship that features only male artists so I’m really counting on We` to bring everything she has to the table next week. She definitely has the talent and the audience support to make her the winner, it’s the song choice and execution that will need to be flawless from here on out.

5. Christian Cuevas (Team Alicia)
Christian gave one of the best performances of the season this week, catapulting him from middle of the pack to a dark horse position in the competition. He even managed to best season-long frontrunner We` McDonald on the iTunes charts so there’s clearly room for him within the top four. If Christian can prove that “Million Reasons” wasn’t all he has to give as an artist and can come back next week with an equally compelling performance then everyone I’ve ranked above him better watch out.

Related: Austin Allsup, Courtney Harrell eliminated for Team Blake

6. Ali Caldwell (Team Miley)
Of the artists left, Ali is the most inconsistent. This week she deservedly earned the encore spot as the final performance of Monday’s live show and knocked it out of the park with a towering rendition of “Without You.” But as great as that performance was she wasn’t able to crack the top 10 on iTunes while five other artists did. Unless she has it in her to top what she did this week, I think the sad truth is that there just isn’t enough passion from the audience to help her overcome the odds.

7. Josh Gallagher (Team Adam)
I’ll admit that Josh is one of my favorites in the competition and before the live performances began I thought he was a frontrunner to win the whole thing. I’ve been hoping for a few weeks that he’d somehow live up to that expectation, but he hasn’t caught on with audiences in the way I thought he would and for two weeks has come dangerously close to having to sing for his safety. With both Sundance, Brendan and Billy all reaching their own crowd-pleasing potential, it’s hard to imagine that there’s room for a fourth country/rock male artist in the championship round.

8. Aaron Gibson (Team Miley)
Unfortunately for Aaron there won’t be an Instant Save to protect him from elimination for a fourth time. The truth is that while audiences have been inspired enough by his results show performances to save him three times in the 11th hour, they haven’t come through for him in quite the same way based on his main stage performances. Because Aaron hasn’t yet shown a capacity to wow or surprise us with a “best performance of the night,” it’s almost certain he will once again come up short next week.

Photo Gallery: ‘The Voice’ all past winners from Seasons 1-10

Gold Derby readers just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions for the next episode of “The Voice.” You can continue to update and change your forecasts throughout the week, just click “Save” when you’ve settled on your choices. You’ll compete to win a $100 Amazon gift certificate, bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboard. Our racetrack odds change as you make your predictions, just as they do when you bet on the Emmys, Oscars, Golden Globes and more. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the season of “The Voice” in our reality TV forum.

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